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Will Self’s review of Owen Hatherley’s work in the latest London Review of Books asks some good questions. Hatherley’s architectural criticism is everywhere from the Guardian to BD, and he has achieved the impossible feat of making a post-crash career as an architectural critic. On top of this, he’s published a couple of books, and completed a PhD. All this effort in the name of architecture deserves some sort of medal. But it’s worth asking what Hatherley wants.

This is particularly the case in relation to Brutalism, a much-maligned and misunderstood tendency that has lately come back into fashion. Like Hatherley’s writing, it’s everywhere: everyone (if we believe the Sunday supplements) wants a flat in Erno Goldfinger’s 1968 Trellick Tower. The developer Urban Splash have taken a major punt on Wilson and Womersley’s Park Hill. No trip to Brazil is now complete without a look at the bracing Paulista Brutalism…

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About Richard J Williams

Professor of contemporary visual cultures. Writes about and teaches cities, takes pictures, and does many things at University of Edinburgh, UK. Books on cities include 'The Anxious City' (Routledge, 2004), 'Brazil' (Reaktion 2009), 'Regenerating Culture and Society' (edited with Jonathan Harris, LUP 2010), and 'Sex and Buildings' (Reaktion, 2013). In preparation is The Creative City (Reaktion 2016).

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